We Are Here. (And So Are You.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Heres something I think more people should know about:

This past Tuesday,Bus Driver (Regan Farquhar, pictured above) was scheduled to perform with Daedelus at Allston's own Harper's Ferry. What would have been a refreshing dose of hip hop was turned sour by a racist comment from Harper's sound guy that eventually caused the cancellation of the entire performance.

I just got off the phone with Regan and his DJ, Antimc (Matt Alsberg), to get the full story. Regan left the venue after load-in to have dinner with a boston friend over at Grasshopper, leaving Matt to deal with the sound guy and setting up on stage. After answering a few questions to the sound guy about their setup, "we need two DI-boxes, two mics, etc.", the sound guy
commented, "that's why you need a white guy in your crew." Matt, baffled at the absurdity of the comment, asked the sound guy to repeat himself, to which he replied by not only repeating the comment, but going on to say, "you know, we hired 6 [mumbled racist slur] in the past few months and they're all outta here!" Matt immediately ran to Harper's green room and talked to Regan on the phone, who after hearing the story called his booking agent who in turn called the manager of the club.

Regan came back and talked to the manager himself, who told Regan that they would tell the sound guy to "go home" and "thats not us". After a few minutes of awkwardly waiting around the club, the tour decided to pack up the van. This prompted the manager to come running out declaring, "the sound guy will never work at the club again! We'll have some one new come in!" and had to mention, "there were 50 presale tickets, it would be terrible to have to refund them...". The tour had a quick meeting and decided to cancel the show and leave.

Regan added, "It's something that catches you off gaurd, and you have to decide how to deal with it [...] and you don't know if you're being oversensitive or if it's just bullshit [...] you have to pick your battle. We could have gone on stage and said something like 'this club is racist' but we just decided to leave." Regan and Matt also expressed concern that the management was just telling the sound guy to go home and was not really fired.

Harper's Ferry has yet to return my calls to comment, but the truth is Harper's handled this situation too lightly! That sound guy should have been fired immediately! The fact that he was able to make that comment so comfortably in the club says A LOT about the club and its management. With the closing of Avalon and Axis, groups with larger draws that wont fit in places like Bill's bar, or Great Scott, or the Paradise are forced to play Harper's if they don't wanna deal with The Roxy or the Orpheum's high ticket prices. They have some growing up to do if they are to fill the shoes of a quality mid-sized rock club in Boston.


Paul Irish said...

That is utterly ridiculous.
Daedalus gives a great show, I wish I could have seen him. I can't believe this shit.

Walt Zink said...

Just shot off an e-mail to a ton of people about this story. Unless that guy is canned, they'll never have me in attendance at a show again.

Walt Zink said...

official response i got (since i was supposed to go to this show!):

It is a real unfortunate situation.

We as a club are completely baffled and shocked by the events that unfolded
Tuesday evening. We have a zero tolerance policy for such things.

The staff member in question was suspended indefinitely on the spot and was
let go the next day after we gathered all the information. It's a sad
situation and one that we hope will ever happen again her at Harpers Ferry.

My fullest apologies to you and hope that you do not think of this as a mark
on our reputation as we try to bring you the best entertainment possible. As
a show of good faith and I would like to invite you any show we have on our
calendar free of charge with a guest.

My apologies

Please respond so that I do know that you got this email.

Andrew Wolan
GM/General Manager
Harpers Ferry
Office: 617-254-9743
Fax: 617-507-5971"

Darcy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darcy said...

this is something that should never have happened, but it did. and it's something boston should know about. thanks again, nate, for your initiative in putting this out there.

Anonymous said...

That same General Manager almost wouldn't let a band play because a girl used the men's restroom.
I was watching a Nemo Showcase @ Harper's last year. One of the bands had a female singer. She was about to go on and the General Manager and someone else from the club were in the Women's room, probably checking towels etc. but they were in there for a while and it was getting to be show time. The rest of the band was on stage and she had been waiting for about 10 minutes. Kind of joking about how long they had been in there. So she knocked on the Men's room door and when no one answered she looked and me wither her arms up and kind of said,"ah well". Just after she went in The General Manager came out of the girl's room (he's a boy), he was holding a clipboard. She finishes and comes out of the boys room just as they General Manager is talking over the bathroom findings with the other guy and he holds her shoulder sn says,"Wait! We're you just in the men's room? Are you in one of the bands tonight?!"
"yeah I had to go we're on now."
"Oh no you're not, I'm going to put a stop to this right now!"
and with that he went over to the sound guy, for whatever unknown reason and was darting around the room looking for someone to yell at.
The girl went up on stage to tell her band that they couldn't play yadda yadda...
And after we'd all been waiting to see how the show would go for 15 minutes or so with the band all talking with the Manager he decided that they could still play.
It seemed like the whole thing was blown way out of control.
The band played awesome and didn't even say a word about it on stage. very professional and they blew me away.

but I haven't been back since.

dankypapa said...

My band played there a few times...not in the last 2 years though. Our guitar player had been wearing a sleeveless t-sheet...wife beater for lack of a better word. The manager came over and grabbed him by the arm and said that he had to put on a different shirt. It just escalated from there....all over a tee shirt. We are not aloud back to play.

Action said...

who cares, harper's blows anyway.

mick said...

I've known the soundman in question for
20 years--there's no way he could have said anything even resembling a racist
comment.I also know the people at Harpers
very well.There's no doubt in my mind that the band was lying (maybe so they could
go play the other gig they had booked already?)